Technology and the Patient Experience

Posted on December 12, 2012. Filed under: Patient Experience, Post By Christy Whipple |

Technology is not a substitute for the personal connection that is at the core of the healthcare profession

Christy Whipple

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In the world of modern medicine, technology abounds. The choices for medical technology are unprecedented and rising at an ever increasing rate. Technology allows labs to be reviewed together, medications to be verified, and e-prescriptions to be generated. Medical staff can share messages regarding a patient’s care and a clear treatment plan can be formulated.


Technology Causes Patients to Perceive a Communication Disconnect         

Although technology can be utilized as a very valuable resource, it can have extremely negative effects on patient perception; meaning patient experience, which will ultimately affect HCAHPS scores, reimbursements and patient referrals. Studies have shown that when a doctor enters an exam room, remains standing, stares at the patient’s chart, makes no eye contact, and spends 10 minutes with the patient, he will state, “The doctor didn’t spend enough time with me.” The same can be said for medical staff who are engrossed in electronic medical records (In fact, most patients have a more negative opinion of doctors who focus their time on on-site computers and digital equipment than old fashioned charts). But if the doctor comes in to the room, puts the chart down, sits down and engages in a conversation with the patient, those same 10 minutes will be perceived as “enough time” during the visit.

Technology Enhances Patient Education and Understanding

An amazing tool, the internet provides limitless resources of medical information; accurate, inaccurate, fraudulent information, cutting-edge data, and trusted resources. Many, many patients have researched their symptoms long before their hospital stay and have a certain understanding of their medical care. Many patients aren’t necessarily expecting their healthcare providers to share new and unique information, they are looking for meaning; interpretation.  In many cases, the patient is equipped for a successful recovery and positive patient experience because he already has an understanding of the healing process.

Technology and Face-to-Face Communication must work Together

It is possible to have both high-touch and high-tech health care. The tools that are available are powerful resources for high quality health care, but we must remember that they are not a substitute for the human-to-human connection that is at the core of the healthcare profession. Technology is a resource, a compliment to face-to-face interaction and quality care.

Introcomm provides custom communications solutions for the admissions and discharge processes. To learn more about how Introcomm can assist your hospital with HCAHPS, patient experience, and improved communations (with little to no additional out of pocket expense), please contact us today to schedule our complimentary educational webinar.

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